23 Nov 2021

My career as a Project Manager – Andrew Waye

Meet the member
My career as a Project Manager – Andrew Waye

In our Meet the member series, we speak to a range of project professionals about their experiences as a Project Manager, and their advice for fellow PMs.

Here we chat to Andrew Waye MAIPM, an advisor to strategic and complex projects, about his career and how his Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) membership has been fundamental.  
 

1. What do you enjoy about working in the project management space?

Every project I’ve worked on has been professionally challenging and rewarding. I find project management is increasingly sophisticated and professionalised, and constantly strives to be better; nowadays, project management is more than just delivering the ‘bit of kit’. I particularly enjoy working on projects that introduce generational changes to capability and present the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people to achieve the right strategic outcomes for an organisation.

 

2. How did you go from being a Navy Officer to working on projects?

After an operationally focused career in the Navy, and then joining the Customs Service, as it was known then (now Australian Border Force), in a similar role, I really wanted to branch out. Customs presented me the opportunity to join my first project. I stayed in that project for five years as it was simply a project and job I enjoyed!

Since then, I have worked on many other interesting and varied projects in the national security and defence sector. Sometimes, the projects have matched my background and experience; other times they haven’t. On my journey, I have grown with each project, and found different ways to add value. This has allowed me to fulfill another passion, working with great people to solve hard problems.
 

On my journey, I have grown with each project, and found different ways to add value. This has allowed me to fulfill another passion, working with great people to solve hard problems.


 

3. As the Defence Community of Practice lead, what is your vision for this community?

Defence is a calling and commitment beyond just uniformed service. So many people I know in the defence industry, regardless of who they work for, are passionate and committed to ensure defence is as good as it can be. My vision for the AIPM Defence Community is a simple one – that we can all learn from each other. I really hope that the Defence Community of Practice sessions deliver relevant and timely content that contributes to achieving improved defence project management outcomes that ultimately support the warfighter and defence personnel.

 

4. What has been your career highlight to date?

I’ve been so fortunate to have some true highlights, and each major project milestone becomes memorable. I have worked on some great projects – the Landing Helicopter Dock ships, the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, and the Customs Coastwatch surveillance services.

I’ve grown professionally through my involvement with the Australian Institute of Project Management as well, from having the privilege to judge submissions for the Project Management Achievement Awards, to advocating on behalf of the profession, and contributing to organising AIPM events which spread professional competence.

 

5. How does the AIPM help you to stay connected and relevant?

The Australian Institute of Project Management makes me feel part of a professional community. While it’s been so challenging over the past two years during the pandemic to maintain networks and connectivity, I am thrilled that the AIPM has now developed some new and wonderful ways to connect and further advance professionalism. The AIPM has also fostered my ability to grow professional relationships with project professionals from outside my industry sector and geographic regions, many of whom have become close friends and colleagues.

 

6. What would you say to younger professionals considering AIPM membership?

My philosophy is that to be a project management professional you should be a member of a peak professional body, while contributing to advancing the profession. I’ve been an AIPM member for a while… since 2006! The benefit of AIPM membership is not only growing and consolidating my own skills, but meeting such a great bunch of people who get things done.
 

The benefit of membership is not only growing and consolidating my own skills, but meeting such a great bunch of people who get things done.


 

7. Do you have a favourite AIPM event that you’ve attended, either in person or virtually?

What did you learn from it? I really liked facilitating the Defence Community of Practice where Rob Milligan shared his leadership insights in defence projects. I am fortunate to have known Rob for a long time, and it was simply wonderful to let him shine. I think we both stumbled our way through that event, but we had lots of fun and shared some great insights in a very well received event.

 

8. Is there an OnDemand event on your list to watch next?

I really like to catch-up on any of the Project Management Office (PMO) Community of Practice forums as they become available. I find the On Demand platform a great innovation, giving me the flexibility to watch relevant content when I have the time, especially as I seem to be increasingly time poor.


If you would like to join a community of like-minded professionals and stay up to date on what’s happening in project management, Australian Institute of Project Management membership provides access to resources, professional development, a community forum, and lots of other opportunities that you need to excel in your career.
 



You may also enjoy:
How Kim Lenox discovered her passion for construction through a chance career move
Benjamin Hanley on developing a successful career in project management
 

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